Playing with confidence
The 28-year-old Rauf also shared his conversation with all-rounder Hardik Pandya. While he visited Australia in 2018-19, Rauf bowled to players such as Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara. Rauf claimed Pandya was impressed with his play and helped him be more confident after Pandya gave him some words of appreciation.
“The Indian team’s manager wanted some net bowlers who could bowl to the batters in Australia. I felt it would be a great opportunity for me to bowl to international cricketers,” he said.
“I bowled to the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli in the nets. Hardik Pandya was bowling alongside me and he told me that I was doing good and that he’s sure that I’d soon be playing for the Pakistan team.”
Rauf played for local cricket club Wests Ashfield Leagues Club in Sydney when he met some Indian players when India toured Australia for a Test series in 2019.
Rauf said both Pandya and KL Rahul helped him immensely at the start of his career. Since his debut for Pakistan in 2020, Rauf has displayed a decent cricket career. He recorded a continuous speed of over 145 km/h in the T20 World Cup 2021.
“When I was a net bowler for India, I had bowled to them in Sydney in the nets. So I had told them once that I would one day bowl to them in an international game,” Rauf said during an interview with Paktv.tv. “Both Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul had told me that I have the potential to bowl at an international level. They gave me a lot of confidence.
“Then, when I met them recently at the T20 World Cup, they remembered all our conversations. We had a discussion over it as well, and they were really happy for me watching me play for Pakistan. When you play with good players, you learn all the good things. I always try to learn good things from such players."
India will play Pakistan in the T20 World Cup 2022 on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Their last match ended with Pakistan beating India by ten wickets in the T20 World Cup last year.